Tony Sparano isn't exactly a hot head-coaching candidate for 2015. He won't make certain teams' hearts go aflutter, like Jim Harbaugh or Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase or Stanford's David Shaw or Notre Dame's Brian Kelly might.

But since the Raiders fired Dennis Allen and stuck the interim tag on Sparano, Oakland has won three games. And the Raiders actually seem to be playing better. Will that help Sparano land the Oakland job? Maybe not, but some of his players seem to think that it should warrant some consideration.

"He's done so many things to change the mindset of this team,” defensive tackle Antonio Smith said, via CSN Bay Area. “I take my hat off for him, no matter what the outcome may be. We lost a few. I'm glad we won some. Tony has done a great job. It says a lot about the character he has. He instilled that character in each and every one of us. He doesn't care about the week before. Each and every game, we're going to fight."

The Raiders have won three of their past five games, beating decent teams in the Chiefs, 49ers and the Bills. Hey, they're not knocking off the Patriots or the Packers, but Oakland wasn't exactly the favorite in any of the games it won.